SUNDERLAND legends Kevin Phillips and Gary Rowell shared centre stage at the Stadium of Light on Saturday as a top honour was handed over.
SuperKev was recently voted the Black Cats’ best all-time post-war signing by Sunderland fans in a poll organised by the Echo.
And Echo columnist Gary Rowell was on hand at the weekend to hand over the commemorative award to the delighted Leicester City coach.
The presentation brought together for the first time the only two men alive to have scored more than 100 goals for Sunderland.
Gary, who of course came up through the youth ranks at Roker Park, said: “As a fan, as a player, and now as a member of the media, you always have a massive interest in who the club signs and how they might do.
“I don’t think anyone could argue that Kev is a worthy winner when it comes to best signing.
“Considering how little he cost to buy, how prolific he was in his six seasons at the club and how iconic a player he became, it’s no surprise to me that Sunderland fans voted him number one.”
Phillips said: “Of course I’m aware of Gary and what a big favourite of the fans he is, even now.
“It’s nice to meet someone who knows exactly how special a feeling it is to score goals for Sunderland fans.
“It’s an award I’ll treasure because it was voted for by the fans and that they still rate me so highly more than a decade after I left, it’s special to me.
“And I could not think of anywhere more appropriate to receive the award than at the Stadium of Light itself, where I had so many amazing days.
“I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me and I’d like Sunderland fans to know that the admiration is mutual.
“They have always been fantastic to me.”